Thursday, November 30, 2006

Note to City: Light the tree before 9:00 PM

As a parent of a 5 year old who loves Christmas and anything that has to do with it, I was disappointed that he didn’t get a chance to see the tree lit last night on TV.

The problem is the city decided to light the tree at 9:00 PM well after most little kids bed times. Would it have been a disaster to light the tree at 8:00 instead?

If I own a computer should I be qualifying for social benefits?

New York City has a new website called Access NYC that lets New Yorkers screen the city’s social agencies to see if they qualify for benefits. These benefits include everything from food stamps to section 8 housing.

I just find it strange that somebody that needs food stamps can afford a $1,000+ computer and the monthly fee for an Internet connection.

I had to post this:

I got this e-mail from someone and though I usually delete chain mail I loved this one. As someone born in the 70's I think it’s so true!

1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because .


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day.

And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down
the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound, CD's or Ipods, no cell phones!, no personal computers , no Internet or chat rooms.......
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,
made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and kno cked on the door or rang
the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned


If YOU are one of them . . CONGRATULATIONS!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stuck between a rock and a Sharpton

My personal feelings on Mayor Bloomberg is that he has always been one of the few in politics that do it mostly because they believe they can better the world. Weather it be trans fats, the smoking ban, or gun control, you can't necessarily tie his attention to those issues to a particular special interest group bribing him with their political weight.

However, the racial flames blowing from this weekend might be just to hot for his kitchen. While trying to not ignite Sharpton & Co., he decided it would be better to cower to, and appease them. First, without investigation, he says that the shots fired seemed "excessive". Then, he actually had the nerve to say that he expects the trial to be in Queens. I am sorry Mr. Bloomberg, but nobody has been indicted yet! The way he has handled this has been disgraceful up to this point. I am not saying he should have cleanly let the cops off the hook. He could have easily said that the incident was a tragedy and called for a thorough investigation without showing bias or inflaming tensions.

Finally, he had the nerve to say that he made his "excessive" comment as a citizen and not as an official. Hmmm, would any citizen be able to get up to a podium with a dozen lawmakers standing behind him and every local media outlet drooling for each word that drops from his mouth? NO!

Maybe Mayor Bloomberg needs to go back to his mansion in the Bahamas and think to himself; WWRD.

--What Would Rudy Do?--

At some point it’s not just President Bush’s fault:

As the sectarian violence spreads in Iraq and thousands of Iraqis continue to die, at some point America can no longer take all the blame.

If we think what our initial mission in Iraq was, its purpose was to liberate the country from the hands of Saddam Hussein. The world knew he was a threat who lost the benefit of the doubt a long time ago. It’s safe to say based on his history that at some point the world was going to have to deal with either him or his sons and it was better to do it on our time.

The administration and our allies believed that the Iraqi’s were responsible people, who when given the opportunity would sit down and form a government. If the administration should be blamed for anything, it’s for having too much faith in the Iraqi people.

Will we be able to stabilize Iraq? I doubt it. Stabilization will only come after Iraqi’s have purged their desire for sectarian control. Back in 1861 America gone through its own purging that didn’t end until 650,000 Americans were dead. In the end America ended up for the better. Maybe it’s time for us to just let the Iraqi’s have at it and hope the better side wins.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My idea to shock the public school system:

With the teachers union crying how they’re only going to get an extra $2 billion instead of $5 billion, I’ve been thinking of a way to get the city to start respecting the private school system. As far as I’m concerned the private school system is taken for granted in this city.

What I would like to see is for every parent who has a kid in private school to turn and register his or her child in public school. Now they should also register them for private school at the same time and actually send their kids there on the first day of school.

The point of registering them for public school would be to enjoy the chaos that would ensue as the system became crippled. The city wouldn’t know what to do with the tens of thousands of students from pre-k to 12th set to show up.

A reminder why cops are sometimes “excessive”:

While everyone is shaking their heads over the “excessive” force used by the police in the shooting death of Sean Bell, today a trial begins in New York that reminds us why.

By now most have forgotten that back in 2003 two undercover police officers were executed in Staten Island while participating in an operation to catch a reputed gang leader. The defendant, Ronell Wilson, shot both officers in the back of the head after he became uneasy with the transaction that was taking place.

It’s situations like these that stay fresh in the minds of undercover cops while patrolling questionable neighborhoods that make them a little quick with the trigger. It doesn’t excuse what happened over the weekend but it helps explain why these things occur. If our City was perfect and cops never had to worry about situations like the one in Staten Island in 2003, Sean Bell would probably be alive today.

For me the real tragedy will be that Sean Bell will become a lightening rod that leads the way to a police force that turns a blind eye to potential crime because it’s not worth the risk. Frankly if I was a cop, sitting in my car eating donuts doesn’t sound like a bad idea, versus getting caught in front of a car that’s trying to run me over where I panic and shoot because I think my life is in jeopardy

What’s even sadder is that while the police officers in the Bell fiasco get flogged, Ronell Wilson will most likely have an army of supporters come to his defense about how he’s the victim.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pull out of Iraq? Or do you mean Pull out of DC?

The following is an email forward that I got the other day. Very interesting!

If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000troops in the Iraq theatre of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per100,000 soldiers. The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000for the same period. That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot andkilled in the U.S. Capitol which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq . Conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington

Bring back Bill Clinton:

Ok not him exactly but his strong dollar policy. Over the last couple of years the U.S. dollar has continued to get weaker against its European competitors. Over the last couple of days the Euro has crossed the $1.30 mark to the dollar and the British Pound is near $2.00.

For some crazy reason the Bush administration has failed to support the dollar during its continuous decline. During the Clinton administration, Bill and his Treasury Secretaries constantly supported the dollar because they understood a strong dollar meant good things for the economy and it’s markets.

As a nation that imports as much consumer goods as we do, a strong dollar assures they’ll remain cheap allowing us to consume more. When the dollar falls, imports become expensive leading to less consumption and economic decline. Worse a weaker dollar leads to higher interest rates since the Fed is forced to raise rates to attract foreign capital.

If a weak currency were the better solution, countries like Argentina and Brazil would be economic superpowers.

First Rule in not getting shot by the cops: Don’t try to run over an undercover police officer:

Tension is high in the city after the shooting of three unarmed men in Jamaica over the weekend. Now hearts should go out to the individuals shot, especially for Sean Bell who was set to be married the next day and died in the incident.

Unfortunately this whole event could have been avoided not only by the scared police officers that cracked under the tension but also Bell and his friends.

First rule, when someone is standing in front of your car, whether you think they’re a cop or not, don’t try to run them over.

Second rule, after you try to run them over a first time, don’t backup and try to run them over again.

I agree that questions need to be answered and things changed. For instance I would like to ask Mayor Bloomberg why do we still have bars and strip clubs still open at 4:00AM? Mayor Bloomberg should worry more about how much alcohol has been consumed until 4:00AM by people, which eventually leads to these incidents, instead of how much fat is in my KFC.

In conclusion, attempts will be made to turn this incident into a case of police brutality. The reality is that this is just a case of human beings who happen to be cops because the NYPD called before the sanitation and fire departments, that under the stress and fear of getting run down unleashed their guns like they were in the middle of Baghdad.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

YOU Are Why We Worry About The Wrong Things

The latest Time Magazine issue talks about how we agonize over events such as Avian Bird Flu that are very unlikely to happen to us over things such as high cholesterol which leads to heart disease that kills 700,000 Americans annually. They also talk about how someone might “still look askance at a bag of spinach for fear of E. coli bacteria while filling their carts with fat-sodden French fries and salt-crusted nachos.” Basically they are saying we are poor at our personal risk management.

If Big Media is wondering why that is, they only have to look in the mirror. They bombard us with these stories about E. Coli and Avian Bird Flu until they have sucked every last drop of juice from them. Then they have the nerve to wonder why people obsess over it?

Last year people I knew would gripe to me how Bush wasn’t putting enough money into vaccines for Bird Flu and I would just give them the customary smile and roll of the eyes that becomes very automatic for a New York City Republican.

The media sometimes forgets that they have a responsibility to the public they are serving as well as their wallets. They just pound and pound away at a story then once it’s dead they do shows with the topic asking if the media has overplayed the story. YES they have! This situation is like the NBA player who commits a crime then says how even though he’s a professional basketball player, makes tons of money from the public, he still is in no way a role model for young kids.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Empire Zone - NYT

The NYTimes blog, link'd up your school post - well done Nick.

Have a great Saturday kids.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Did Democrats Disrespect Charlie Rangel?

Soon as Congressman Rangel proposed reinstituting the draft, Democrats from Chuck Schumer to Nancy Pelosi, came out and squashed his idea. Schumer said it would die before it could get to the Senate and Pelosi gave a nice response how Rangel didn’t really mean it.

I think the whole thing is an embarrassing situation for Rangel. The way the responses took place it appeared to say, nobody takes him serious. It was like Democrats were treating Rangel like the little kid who wants to have a conversation with the adults. They humored him and then said, “ok let mommy and daddy talk now”.

If I was Rangel I would have been insulted.

Thank Goodness for Apple Juice, No one wants OJ.

What a great thing it is to get this absolutely absurd debacle from getting on television. Another twist in the story however...

The O.J. Simpson book saga took another twist Tuesday when his former sister-in-law, Denise Brown, accused the media company behind the project of trying to buy her family's silence for "millions of dollars."...continue reading

Republicans doing well in House recounts

Vern Buchanan, a Florida Republican saddled with defending the House seat vacated by Katherine Harris, was declared the winner of the super-close race in that district. Naturally, his Democratic opponent, Christine Jennings, just can't believe she actually lost to a Republican, and has decided to sue in court for a new election. She claims there was a major malfunction in the voting machines used on Election Day. Her proof: a Republican won!

In other too-close-to-call House races, Republican incumbents hold the advantage:

New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson is ahead in an unofficial tally, edging out her opponent by 879 votes.

Ohio Rep. Jean Schmidt has a 2,800-vote lead, but 9,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted.

Also in Ohio, embattled Rep. Deborah Pryce is ahead of her opponent by more than 3,500 votes, with about 19,000 ballots still to be counted.

In North Carolina, Rep. Robin Hayes holds a razor-thin 339 vote lead against Democrat Larry Kissell.

These races can still go either way. And their outcome will have no effect on the Democrat's majority in the House, but I don't care. I'm going to take my consolation wherever I can find it.

Public school folly:

Originally I wasn’t going to comment about the extra $2 billion that a New York State court order to be paid to New York City schools. However after hearing some of the complaints from the plaintiffs I just had to chime in.

After the decision one of the lawyers on behalf of the plaintiffs claimed that because they didn’t get $5 billion, children would now not be able to read and do math. Now correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t see how an extra $5 billon or even $2 billion is going to make children learn how to read and do math. How come the Catholic school system doesn’t need to raise it’s budget by billions of dollars every year to make sure those kids know how to read and do math?

As someone who went to Catholic school as a child and teenager and now sends his son to Catholic school, I personally enjoy watching them make a mockery out of the public school system year after year.

Fall Celebration tonight!

Don't Forget!
Tonight is the NYYRC's annual


Join us for 3 hours of open bar and plenty of hot
hors d'oeuvres for everyone, you shouldn't miss it!!!
Where: Domenicos, 120 E 40th Street
             Between Lexington & Park Avenues
When:  Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
Time:   7PM - 10PM

MEMBER-  $65 At the Door

NON-MEMBER or MEMBER Renewing for 2007, Fall Celebration + 2007 Membership -  $80 At the Door (Under 40)

NON-MEMBER, EVENT + MEMBERSHIP -  $100 (Associate)

And special thanks to Jerold Ruderman and our friends the Log Cabin Republicans for their support.

Does this have no end?

The following is an email from the President of Hillel at Pace University to Phil Orenstein who is pushing for the Academic Bill of Rights in New York State. This is yet another example of the double standards set forth in academia. In advance, I apologize for the lengthy post, but it just needed to be in the words of who experienced it.
I am going to describe two situations that occurred in our school were students rights were suppressed. The first one was with the film "Obsession" and the second is with students who got arrested for a peaceful protest.
1) I am President of "Hillel", a Jewish club at Pace University. Part of our "Judaism awareness week" (week long full of events relating to Judaism- Nov 13 – 17th) we wanted to show the film "Obsession". Three weeks before the day of the event I contacted MSA – Muslim Student Association, and notified them that I was going to show the film and have a panel of speakers discuss the film before and after it was viewed. I asked MSA if they would like to collaborate with us on and offered them a chance to bring a speaker of their choice. Two weeks later I hear rumors that the Dean, Dr. Marijo Russell O'Grady wants to pull the plug on the film (I was not told of this by the administration until I made the appointment to see them). The Dean O'Grady, Mr. David Clark, who is head of the student organizations on campus, and I met one week before the event. About 5 – 10 minutes into our conversation Dean O'Grady "warns" me that because of the recent Hate crimes that were committed against the Koran at our school it would point figures and me and my organization. The police will also get involved and begin to look at my record even deeper. The fact is that Hate crimes were committed against the Muslim religion and the Jewish religion but the school only made notice of the Muslim students.
4 Days later a mediation meeting occurred – The Dean, David Clark, two people from Affirmative Action and two professional Mediators were called. The president and secretary of MSA were present and I was the only one present for Hillel. MSA has sent Hillel several E-mails that were full of anger, and hate not only against us but made direct statements about or Club and what our religion stands for. During the mediation MSA spoke first. For about 10min the president of MSA was shouting at me until I finally asked her to stop shouting and that was the only time that the "professional" mediators acknowledged her shouting at me.
The six administrators that were present were creating excuses for MSA's behavior. The president was constantly shouting at me and at the administrators, towards the end she cursed twice loud enough for everyone to hear and yet nothing was said to her. But when I tried to speak up in defense of the film and our club I was physically put back in my seat. David Clark was sitting next to me and twice he put his hand on my shoulder and pushed me down as a way to silence me.
No one from the administration of MSA ever saw the film so they have no way of knowing what it truly is about. I offered them the opportunity to view the film and both MSA and the administration have turned it down. They didn't want to hear anything that I had to say because they felt the film would only give the school more bad press. There solution was to put on joint events that focus of "eco-terrorism". With all do respect but Eco-terrorism did not taken down the World Trade Towers, did not blow two busses in London, hold a school hostage in Russia and continuingly killing thousands in Africa….Radical Islam is the cause and to ignore this and silence those who want to expose this truth is just wrong. When I confronted the Dean about why I was silenced in such a way her response to me was "I am sorry you feel that way". Its interesting how one group of students gets treated as opposed to another?
2) The second issue was with a demonstration that occurred Thursday Nov 16th. A group of students at Pace organized a protest against the school. Covering issues of increased tuition, poor student support, and freedom of speech. The students proceeded to come closer to the school and the administration arrested 5 students for trespassing. 18 and 19 year old kids were arrested for walking closer to their own University. The same Dean supported these actions.

The Pope should retract his retraction:

This morning a top Christian leader was assassinated in Lebanon. Pierre Gemayel, the leader of the anti-Syrian Phalange Party, was shot while in his car.

It was only two months ago that Muslim extremists took to the streets to protest Pope Benedict XVI comments during a speech at the University of Regensburh where he commented that Mohammed brought nothing but violence to the world, spreading the faith by the sword.

The protests led the Pope to cave and apologize for his comments. As a Christian leader lies dead, I wonder if this is enough to confirm the Popes original comments and would hope he’ll say I told you so.

Monday, November 20, 2006

School Corruption?

This was taken from

An Election Year Education Miracle

Education expert Sol Stern takes a look in the latest issue of City Journal at the magic jump in test scores at PS 33 in New York, a school in one of the poorest parts of the Bronx, where 100% of the students qualify for free lunch, which last year had an unheard of 50 percent election year jump in reading scores. While the mayor held a press conference at the school to tout the incredible gains, he's been unable to explain what he called an "historic" and "record-breaking" improvement.

And this year, the same students have suffered an equally historic collapse–of the 87% of last year's fourth graders who read at or above grade level, only 47.5% have managed to achieve the same standard as fifth graders.

Principal Elba Lopez isn't around to explain—after collecting a $15,000 bonus for her incredible work last year, she promptly retired, having boosted her pension by some $12,000 a year for life.

It's time for an explanation and an investigation; we'll see if either is forthcoming.

Charlie and the draft factory:

Charles Rangel is once again proposing that the U.S. reinstitute the draft. Rangel’s argument is that if there were a draft, leaders in Washington would be hesitant to engage militarily when there is limited evidence. Though I agree that having a draft would be a good idea, mine is for different reasons.

Instituting a draft would be the best thing this government could do for inner-city kids. Many of these kids will never leave the crime filled neighborhoods they come from. Many either drop out of high school or don’t go to college. They turn to a life of crime or low paying jobs to only have kids themselves to keep the cycle going. By having a draft you get these young men and women out of the neighborhood and place them in an environment that will put them on a fast track to bettering their lives.

The draft is not only good for low-income neighborhoods. It would also help middle and higher income groups as those kids are soft and could use a good kick in the rear that the military will give them.

I have three cousins in the military right now and all three will tell you it’s the best thing they ever did. They’re going to come out educated, disciplined and ready to add to society. They will have seen more of the world then dozens of people combined and will leave no doubt in prospective employers minds that they will be ready to work.

As a father of a young boy, I hope Congress reinstitutes the draft. It can end up being just what this country needs to get the new generation to understand and respect the sacrifices of the old.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Senate Confirms FCC Chairman Martin for Another Term

The Senate voted late last night to confirm Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin for another five-year term at the agency.
Martin, a Republican, joined the commission in July 2001 and became chairman in March 2005, after Michael K. Powell resigned as chairman and left the FCC.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee unanimously approved Martin’s nomination in September.
The FCC, which regulates the telecommunications industry, is expected to address a number of contentious issues under Martin’s leadership, including new media ownership rules and a potential overhaul of the fund that subsidizes rural telephone service.
The five-member commission currently has three Republicans and two Democrats.

Who needs Congress when we have the FCC!

If only we could all hold down multiple 6-figure jobs...

The New York Times has details today on some of the second jobs city council members hold and the salaries they earn at them – some of them are earning six-figure salaries at their other jobs.

If the City Council wants to vote themselves a 25% raise, they need to at least show their dedication to the city by dropping the moonlighting exemption.

Where’s the press release from the City Council?

The City Council has gotten into a nice little habit of putting out press releases and updates on their website whenever a bill is passed. The Council has used the site to toot their own horn and even take shots at Governor Pataki.

One press release that seems to be missing for all the taxpayers to see is the one where they announce that they gave themselves a fat double-digit pay raise. I’m sure it was just an oversight and they really are getting around to it.

Save yourself and go on without us!

We have all seen the war movies where under enemy fire a soldier gets wounded, falls to the floor and tells his comrades to go on without him. That is the best way I can describe the Doha trade round after Democrats have gained power in Washington.

Before the November elections the Doha round, which focuses on trade in agriculture and services, was already having its problems. Having over 100 countries trying to agree on a trade status is no easy feat when everyone is trying to maximize their comparative advantages. These disagreements are par for the course and after continuous meetings are usually worked out. However with Washington falling into Democrat’s hands and the anti-trade rhetoric already jumping out of their mouths, America has become the wounded soldier on the ground looking up at its trading comrades.

Though America has been an intricate part in trade negations in the WTO the world can’t, at least for now, count on America to be the free market proponents that the late Milton Friedman showed we could be. If the Chinas, Vietnams and Europe want to surpass America economically they should move on with the Doha round without us leaving us to die at our own hands. Maybe then will the next round of politicians be ready to go back to believing that only free markets create prosperity.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman, one of the most brilliant economic minds of the 20th century, has died.

As we face at least another two years of Democrats voting down free trade bills, trying to put price controls on the drug industry and attacking WalMart, we should all revisit Friedman’s work and be prepared to fight for capitalism in 2008.

Are videogame programmers the only ones teaching our kids the truth about free trade and foreign policy?

One of my favorite things to do is to sit down and dive into a good strategy game. Games like Civilization, Age of Empires and others have sucked millions of dollars and hours of time from adults and kids in this country.

For someone that has never played any of these games, it’s easy to think these games and the people that play them are brainless. The truth is the complete opposite. These games not only test your wits but also put you into a virtual world where you get to sit in your seat and relive any world leader and period in history. If you ever thought you could do a better job taking a nation from nothing to a respected world power then a game like Sid Meier’s Civilization is a great thing to fire up on the computer.

Games like Civilization will quickly squash any dream you may have of surviving in the world by being always nice and hoping other leaders will do the same. As much as people scream Iraq is all about the oil, try being the nation in the game that enters the age of combustion and not have any oil in your territory to fill your needs. At that point you have to hope someone will trade it to you and when they don’t, you either have to go take it or be happy with watching your civilization be taken advantage of by the ones that do or worse be taken over.

What always amazes me about these games is the care that its developers take to create the most historical and realistic situation for the player. These games not only entertain but also educate the player on what works and doesn’t.

Another game that just came out last week, called 1701AD, places the game in the era of colonization. You start off by being dispatched by your queen with gold and resources to land on a far off island so it can be colonized. The goal is to not only grow your colony into a thriving city but also colonize other surrounding Islands while fighting off other nations and pirates and if you have guts attempt to claim independence. What amazed me about the game is the detail the developers put into its diplomacy and trading system. It’s obvious the developers know everything there is to know about free trade and do a great job incorporating it into the game. The theory of “comparative advantage” rings loud as your island might only be suitable to grow hops and tobacco but lack the ability to mine iron. Free trade is imperative to growing your nation, as been the case since the 1700’s, hence the title.

As I watch Democrats like Schumer attack free trade and say they’re sorry things like NAFTA ever happened, it becomes obvious video game programmers know more about history and foreign policy then our representatives. They would do our country a service by firing one up every now and then.

How come the media never brings this up?

While reading an article in the FT about Democrat’s intentions in Iraq, I came across a comment that stated:

“They (Democrats) would vote for an extra $75bn for the military, which they described as broken, citing the fact that there were no combat-ready spare army units”.

Now though I agree completely that our military is running on fumes when it comes to troops, I would like to know why the media and the like never bring up Bill Clinton when it comes to the subject?

Remember it was Bill Clinton who felt America no longer needed a large military and cut our battle ready battalions from 19 to 10. How nice it would be to have those troops now

Even our City Council doesn't know English

In response to someone claiming that the new City Council pay raise was unethical Speaker Christine Quinn said "The pay raise is not unethical! This was a very open vote!"----

No Christine, the accusation was not "This vote is not transparent!". Many times throughout history things happen right in front of the people but they have no real power to do anything about it. That is called a dictatorship. Is our city council acting this way because their reelections are almost guarenteed? Naturally that ferocious NYC media didn't pick this up.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Come to the November monthly meeting

We have a great meeting lined up for this Thursday, November 16, at the Union League, 38 Eas 37th Street, New York, NY.

Ryan Sager, author of The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party, will be our featured speaker. Mr. Sager's book has been cited in a number of media outlets, including The Economist, The Weekly Standard, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post. Sager's incite into the current state of affairs in the Republican Party has become required reading in many circles, so we are fortunate to have him with us.

We will also be having an open discussion about last Tuesday's election and what it means for the GOP in New York State and across the country. I am very interested in your thoughts. Come to the meeting and let us know what you think!

You can also sign up for next week's Fall Celebration before the discount expires. This is sure to be a great party. Three hours of open bar, hot delicious hors d'oeuvres, and a chance to mix and mingle with great people.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night.


Rick Brownell

P.S. Business attire is required for entry to the Union League. Please respect our gracious host by turning off your cell phone upon entry.

If you’re so smart, then you do it:

Today two big name Democrats, Barack Obama and John Edwards, are teaming up with the union funded Wake Up Wal-Mart to protest the retailer this season.

We all know the complaints about Wal-Mart and how the unions hate them. What I would like to do is propose if all these Wake Up Wal-Mart people know how to run a big box retailer then they should go do it. After all, their claim is that American’s hate Wal-Mart and want to see it fold, so if they started their own to compete with Wal-Mart they would be sure to put them out of business.

Instead of spending millions of dollars funding Democrat candidates and union front groups, they can open a chain of stores and do all the things they think Wal-Mart should.

They can make everyone a union employee.

They can give healthcare to everyone.

Pay the highest wages.

They can buy all the items for their stores from U.S. manufacturers.

I don’t know why they don’t just do it. Maybe it’s because they know they would fall flat on their face! The truth is they just want Wal-Mart to become another company strangled by a union like the auto and airline is so they too have to go and beg the government for help.

Still going:

The New York Fed released its monthly Empire State manufacturing index this morning, which showed a surprise rise over last month. The index came in at 26 compared to last month’s 22. Considering analysts were expecting the index to decline, the rise shows New York is not in the dire state many are crying it to be.

The news is a bullish sign for the New York economy at a time when things appear to be topping. The question is based on the data, how is Spitzer going to be able to show he can do better? For him to make the situation of the state better then it already is, he would have to take unemployment in the State to levels never seen defying all the odds.

Good luck Eliot!

Is it a sign of things to come?

Yesterday Congress embarrassed America by failing to sign what should have been a slam-dunk trade bill. The bill would have recognized Vietnam with normal trade relations treatment. When a country is given favored nation status, their tariff rate declines to 4.9% from the 35% rate for non-favored nations.

The failure by Congress to pass the bill was a result of dozens of Congressmen not returning to work to vote and a hand few of states afraid of increased competition. The failure to pass the bill left Vietnam scratching it’s head and is an embarrassment for President Bush who is about to attend an economic summit in Asia.

Though I would love to point the finger at Democrats, the truth is both sides played a hand in its demise. Some Republican’s that lost their seats like John Sweeney in New York and Charles Taylor in North Carolina decided it wasn’t important to show up to work and vote.

The rest of the nays came from Congressmen who come from districts still trying to hold on to the undeveloped nation format of a manufacturing industry compared to a developed nation format of a service industry.

I was happy to see that Charlie Rangel voted to pass it as well as other liberal Democrats but American’s should be concerned of the protectionist wave that is heading at us like tsunami.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fundamentalist Muslims offended again? No way!

If it's not the Pope quoting history, it's the Danes drawing cartoons. Radical Muslim Fundamentalists will find anything of Western origin offensive, mainly because they find everything Western offensive and they basically want us all dead.

The latest Outrage of the Week is Apple Computer's "Apple Mecca" store on 5th Avenue near Central Park South. It's supposedly an insult to Islam because it is called a "Mecca."

These narrow-minded fundamentalists are offended by everything we do, yet they're the ones cutting people's heads off and filming it for the Internet. Hmm, methinks the madmen doth protest too much.

By the way, this post was typed on an Apple computer.

Should I be excited?

So Rudy announced he was going to throw his hat in the ring. Now I’m sure he thinks he has a chance to get the Republican nod, which probably came from the reception he got from his 2006 election tour of the country.

I don’t think he will ever be nominated or could even win. Does anyone really think this country is going to elect an Italian Catholic from New York? That’s pretty funny.

Anyway as much as I love the guy, I’m still upset at him for bailing on the Republican Party in New York back in 2000. I know he was ill but that didn’t stop him from going into the private sector. Just think if he stayed in the Senate race, Hillary might be nothing more then the former Presidents wife and New York would still have a Republican in a State wide seat

The difference:

As I continue to look back on the election another thing stands out. It’s the class and ease in which George Allen in Virginia and Conrad Burns in Montana conceded their races to their Democrat opponent despite being down by only 7,000 and 3,000 votes respectively.

It was nice NOT to see these two Republicans attempt to hold on forever, calling for recounts, claiming fraud and doing whatever possible to keep their chances alive.

History would argue that if it was the other way around and Democrats lost by those margins, they would have moved into action to claim everything under the sun.

Democrats should remember Thomas Jefferson and the shores of Tripoli:

Before Democrats dishonor America by cutting and running from Islamic extremists a second time (the first was Mogadishu), they should take a moment to dust off their history books and refresh their memory about another time in American history.

Back in 1801 when America was still in its infancy the Islamic nation of Tripoli and its ruler, the Bashaw Yusuf Karamanli, became the first country to declare war on America. During that time the Islamic nations in the Mediterranean prayed on shipping by pirating the goods of nations. After the capture of American ships, Thomas Jefferson and Congress sent what was our first Navy and Marines on a mission to show America would not succumb to their threats. Congress and Jefferson new like today the world was watching to see how our nation would react and it was imperative to show America couldn’t be pushed around.

The war for a time went badly as America lost one of its ships, the Philadelphia, and it’s crew of 300 to the Bashaw after it ran aground near Tripoli. Our men were tortured and put into hard labor with the only way of saving themselves was by converting to Islam. Only two converted as the rest rather die. Despite some in America calling for Jefferson to just pay tribute instead of the higher cost of a prolonged war, Jefferson knew folding would do more damage to America and its relations overseas then the cost of keeping the fight going.

Jefferson and America kept the fight going eventually forcing the Bashaw to succumb to a treaty where America would pay no tribute. The war would give America its original war heroes like Commodore Preble, Stephen Decature and William Eaton who led America’s first Marines on land in an attempt to sack the Bashaw. Eaton and his men’s legacy still live today in the Marine Hymn, with the line, “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we will fight our country’s battles on the land as on the sea.”

What America’s resolve did over those 5 years (and you think 3 years in Iraq is to long) was put America on the map and gain respect from the international powers like Britain and France who would have used a show of weakness for their own gains. Though exactly 200 years later, the times are similar. Leaving Iraq before a clear victory will give Al-Qeada, Iran, Syria and others a boost in confidence that the worlds feared superpower can be beaten and worse no longer has the resolve to fight a long prolonged battle. If you listen quietly you can hear those French surrender jokes being replaced with America throughout the Middle East.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Let's reverse this trend...

The AP has an item today on how New England Republicans (fiscally conservative, socially liberal) are a dying breed. I was raised in a New England Republican family and was particularly sad to see Nancy Johnson, who represented my hometown, lose after more than 20 years in office.

It is time to reverse this trend and stop scaring the moderates away from the party. The GOP needs to stop caving to the Christian Coalition by pushing their so-called ‘moral values’ and focus on economic measures so we can prevent more moderates from fleeing the party and attract more of the swing vote in 2008 .

Where do they come up with this stuff?

Somebody sent it in a comment where they said so long “racist Republicans”. I would have posted it except they then cut and pasted an article the size of a college paper.

I was just wondering how many e-mails they sent to Charlie Rangel’s office for his bigoted comments about Mississippi last week?

So it begins: Part II

Last week Democrats went to work informing Americans that they were going to do their best to take away the one thing that insures new drug creation. Profits. This week Democrats are promising to pull a Munich, Yalta, Mogadishu or any other example of appeasement gone bad you would like to use as an example.

Over the weekend Carl Levine, the incoming Democrat chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, promised to introduce a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq in four to six months. Now I’ll concede that Iraq has not worked out as planned but for Democrats to think withdrawal is possible without a long-term consequence is preposterous. Democrats have compared Iraq to Vietnam but the difference is we pulled out of Vietnam knowing they weren’t going to come after us. Pulling out of Iraq will take the pressure off the Islamic extremists that populate the country allowing them to regroup and plan an attack closer to home if not at home.

If Americans want a preview of a what Iraq would look like if we cut and ran they should pick up a paper and read about Mogadishu. When Bill Clinton put his tail between his legs and ran because of a minor setback, Bin Ladin and the Islamic extremists that led that attack became emboldened using the withdrawal as a means to show potential recruits America was weak. The 9/11 Report, for those that still haven’t read it, spends a whole section on Mogadishu and how it was the location where the attacks on our embassies were planned. Today Mogadishu has gotten worse and extremists are in complete control of the city and are currently at war with the Somali government to get full control of the country.

Democrats should be proud of their election victory but they shouldn’t ignore the reality of the situation. For anyone to think that leaving Iraq will improve our situation in the war on terror has a lot to learn about the enemy.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Profits Fuel R&D and Lead to Cures

As a follow up to Nick’s post, here are some points on drug discovery and development to put things in perspective:

The average cost to develop a new drug is $802 million - $1.7 billion. Even drugs that only make it to the first phase can still easily cost the drug company over $100 million.

Most drugs that drug companies enter into clinical trials are not approved, and less and less drugs are making it to approval, and the approval rate is declining. Over 25 years, the number of drugs that entered Phase 1 trials and eventually received FDA approval has decreased from 14% to 8%. The FDA is working to increase this rate through its Critical Path Initiative, which is looking at ways to make clinical trials more efficient and determine drugs that will ultimately fail at an earlier point in the process, but it’s a government agency, so the pace of that process is exactly what you would expect. Also, there is a move to add more regulations for after a drug is approved, adding even more costs and red tape to drug development.

Most drugs are not even profitable, only 30% of drugs produce revenues that match or exceed R&D costs. Drug companies are all looking for that blockbuster drug, to get as much profit as they can before generics get onto the market – this is what fuels the huge expenditures into R&D. If Democrats take away this incentive by enacting price controls, we can expect a significant decrease in the pharmaceutical pipeline and less pharmaceutical breakthroughs.

So, the party that campaigned so hard on all the possible miracle cures they claim will come from stem cell research will try to stymie the search for lifesaving drugs. Fortunately, Democrats are not immune to lobbying by pharmaceutical companies, and this idea will likely fall to the same fate that Hillary’s national healthcare plan did in the ‘90s.

Changes at the top: RNC

Ken Mehlman will be stepping down as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Chairman Mehlman, who spoke at the NYYRC August general meeting, is likely to be replaced by Maryland Lt. Gov Michael Steele, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Senate this last go-round.

Any of you who think that Mehlman's falling on his sword after Tuesday's Republican losses, think again. Mehlman made his decision to step down "win, lose or draw" earlier this year.

Steele gathered a lot of support during his run for the Senate this year, and he makes a fine choice to head the RNC. Rumor has it he's also been offered a post on the president's Cabinet. We'll know soon which offer he accepts.

This is the first of probably many Republican party changes we'll see over the coming weeks. It'll be interesting to see what unfolds here in New York State.

So it begins:

Democrats are wasting no time informing Americans about their plans to fight the invisible hand of capitalism. Harry Reid is already on the attack, stating he plans on going after the drug companies to get them to lower their prices.

Now I’m not saying they won’t be successful in getting drug prices lower but what people should consider is the reaction to his action. Drug companies have been producing drugs to allow us to live longer because of the reward that goes with the risk. Companies like J&J spend over $6 billion a year in R&D in hopes to find that one drug that will not only make back the $6 billion but also a decent return.

What happens when the government looks to put price controls on the system, companies will answer by lowering R&D. This means the pace of new drugs will slow making it more difficult to find cures for things like cancer and AIDS.

We should all refresh our memory with what happened when President Clinton intervened in the market for flu vaccines. The American companies that were producing the drug left the market because it was no longer profitable. America was then forced to import our flu vaccines, which consequently led to a shortage in 2004 when that company, Chiron, had their license suspended by the British government.

Cheap drugs might sound good but don’t expect companies like Pfizer to go out of their way to spend billions on new drug development if Reid is not going to let them profit from it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rangel's at it again...

Isn’t this mature? According to AM New York, Rangel is going to ask Pelosi to make Cheney hand over his congressional office space to him:

“The outspoken Harlem congressman, who will become the next chairman of the powerful Ways & Means Committee in January thanks to the Democrats' victory Tuesday, says he wants the storied suite of offices in the House of Representatives currently occupied by Vice President Dick Cheney's staff.”

As Spitzers wins election based on his crusade against Wall St. excessive compensation, the City Council looks to give itself a 14% raise.

One of the issues Democrats seized this election was the small pay raise Americans on average were experiencing. The truth when it comes to pay increases is that companies tie them to the current rate of inflation. The reason pay raises have been small at around 3% is because the Federal Reserve has done a great job of controlling inflation.

New Yorkers have to ask how did the City Council come up with a 14% pay raise when inflation is only at 3% and their salaries are already above the average New Yorker? The Council does have an argument that they haven’t received a pay wage in seven years and is an issue that should be corrected. Instead of a big raise every few years, the Council should implement a bill that gives them a raise every year that is tied to the current rate of inflation. Either way, $112K a year is to high a salary for a group of misfits.

What happens to Hevesi now?

Remember when Eliot Spitzer proudly professed his trust in Alan Hevesi during a debate with John Faso? Then he pulled his support when public confidence in the crooked comptroller started to fade. That was about the same time that Andrew Cuomo said that, as Attorney General, he would pursue an investigation of Hevesi if elected.

Governor Pataki publicly stated that he wants to look into this monkey business of Hevesi misappropriating government funds. But, realistically, Pataki is as lame as a duck can get. Does he or any other Republican really have any power to see through an investigation before January? All the Democrats have to do is stall the process until Governor-Elect Spitzer and AG-Elect Cuomo take office in a few weeks.

I'm willing to bet right now that nothing but a slap on the wrist awaits Alan Hevesi for his crimes. The Dems are likely to see his landslide reelection (travesty though it may be) as a vote of confidence in the comptroller, and sweep this whole scandal under the rug. It's already off the front page of the papers. Shoot, it's not even on the twentieth page of the papers.

Call me a cynic if you like. But unless we demonstrate a real interest in Hevesi's removal, I don't think it will happen.

If anyone should support free trade it’s Charley Rangel:

Out of all the post election articles I have read, the best one so far is in today’s FT. The article titled, “Free trade is the real election casualty”, points out how most of the Democrats that gained seats at the expense of Republicans did so running on a protectionist campaign or what the author calls “economic nationalism".

It is no longer a secret that in the long run free trade creates more jobs then it costs. Mercantilism as an economic theory has long been discarded and thrown away as a viable economic plan but that doesn’t mean governments still don’t attempt to use its populist attraction as a means to gain support. The results for the governments that use it though are always the same, low growth and high unemployment. Simply comparing the high unemployment of your average protectionist European nation of 8-10% to America’s free trade model of 4.4% shows free trade creates more jobs. Further when protectionist policies like Schumer’s proposed 27.5% tariff on goods from China are passed, the result is higher prices, which then leads to inflation. Inflation then brings in the Federal Reserve who is forced to raise interest rates, starting the cycle of economic decline and higher unemployment.

One thing I always admired about Bill Clinton was his decision, despite his party’s opposition, to support NAFTA and free trade as a positive economic theory. Clinton understood free trade makes economies grow and creates more jobs. As stated in the FT article, Clinton’s “argument was always that government should address the negative consequences of open trade through worker retraining programs and by ensuring benefits not tied to employers, like healthcare and portable pensions”.

This finally brings me to Rangel and his recent comments that once in charge he will make trade a top issue. Considering Rangel represents the inner city of New York, he should be falling over people in Congress to pass free trade not prevent it. It’s not like any protectionist policy is going to lead to the opening of a t-shirt or sock factory in Harlem. What it will do though is raise the price of those items that Rangel’s constituents purchase regularly. Comes the new session Rangel should follow Bill Clinton and keep prices down for his district by beating back the protectionist wave that is about to occur

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Proud To See No Sore Losers Here

I would just like to commend our contributors and many other GOP and conservative bloggers for staying positive and looking for solutions to respond to the results of this mid-term election. Rather than wallowing in the losses or looking to blame anyone, most are looking inward and regrouping. As long as we take a lesson away from this election and look for ways to bring voters back into the fold we will come out on top. Yesterday's vote was not about each individual candidate and the fact that the majority of seats were turned over to conservative Democrats (some even former Republicans) means that on most issues GOP's ultimate message has not been rejected by the voters. Of course on the issue of Iraq we need to reevaluate the plan and the progress and the first steps toward that are being taken as I write this. Whether Rumsfeld is the most appropriate target of GOP "house cleaning" remains to be seen, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction and proof to the voters that the Administration heard them loud and clear last night.

Standing up and dusting off

Looking through today's papers and assessing last night's returns, there are a few questions that keep running through my mind.

Do voters truly believe that Eliot Spitzer can bring business back to New York, even though he's strong-armed Wall Street to do his bidding?

Do voters truly believe that they can trust Alan Hevesi to control the state's pension fund, even though he has blatantly betrayred that trust?

Do voters truly believe Hillary Clinton, whose only concern for our state is as a stepping stone to higher office, will fairly represent what New York needs in the U.S. Senate?

We had some fine candidates this year who wanted to crack the fiefdom that runs our state legislature and bring some fiscal responsibility to Albany. But do voters truly believe that Albany is fine just the way it is?

Judging by the shellacking Republicans took in last night's contest, apparently the answer to these questions is 'yes.'

Nationwide, Democrats claimed that we are seeing a change. But here in New York, we are seeing more of the same. And that's not good.

As Republicans in this state, we need to get our act together. Instead of waiting till the last minute to field our candidates, we need to start building tomorrow's campaigns today. Instead of talking amongst ourselves at private parties, we need to air our grievances in public, and proudly. Instead of simply accepting the fact that we live in a Blue state and a liberal city, we need to appeal to people's common sense, and put the credit for our situation where credit is due.

If we're not willing to do that, then perhaps it is us who should find a new line of work.

The best new job in New York:

As of this morning the best job in New York will be the person who gets to be the chairman of the Republican Party in the State.

If Republicans decide to replace Minarik, for the new Chairman it will be like Lou Piniella coaching the Chicago Cubs. There is only one way to go but up and the team has been so bad that their use to loosing, so expectations will be low making it easy to succeed.

The good thing about the Democrat’s New York sweep:

New York Republicans should cheer up this morning because there’s some good news buried under the disaster.

Now that Democrats have taken complete control of New York they can no longer blame us for New York’s ills. Over the next 18 months as New York slides deep into a hole like the New York Times circulation, New Yorkers will be forced to look to Democrats who were unable to create the utopian society they promised.

Over the next 18 months New York home prices will decline, taxes will go up, upstate will still be upstate and unemployment will come up off its recent lows to head higher.

The question will be if the New York media like the NY Times that did everything they could to make sure this day would come, will be willing to ask what happen when all their dreams don’t come true.

Good News out of South Dakota & Michigan

Well, I found at least two pieces of good election news:

In South Dakota, the abortion ban meant to challenge Roe v. Wade was overturned by voters. :)

In Michigan, voters passed a measure banning affirmative action by public institutions.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Join us for Election Night results

Don't spend Election Night at home waiting for the mass media to miscalculate the results!

Join us at one of these parties:

Metropolitan Republican Club - 122 East 83rd Street, b/n Park & Lex Aves.

Women's National Republican Club - Election Night Celebration for Jeanine Pirro, Candidate for Attorney General - 8:00pm
3 West 51st Street b/n 5th & 6th Aves.

Philip Pidot Victory Party - Clancy's (back room) - 978 2nd Avenue, b/n 51st & 52nd Streets

O'Neill's Irish Bar - Red State Ale $3, Blue State Ale $3. Starting at 8:00pm
729 Third Avenue (btw 45th & 46th Streets) 212-661-3530

Vito Fosella Victory Party - Excelsior Grand located at 2380 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island

See you at the party!

Rick Brownell

“They can’t run anything right”

That was what former President Clinton told supporters last night, referring to George Bush.

Well Bill nobody is as perfect as you. The way you handled Mogadishu was just brilliant.

Oh and Wako, great job there! How many American women and children were killed?

Plus who can forget little Elian Gonzalez. Thank God the Swat Team was called in to grab the kid because I personally thought he was dangerous to our national security.

Those last minute pardons, you pulled those off perfectly.

My favorite though was bombing the Chinese Embassy instead of the terrorists! Brilliant I say, brilliant!

Will Democrats turnout to vote?

This morning I went to vote at my normal time of 8:15. Usually when I go and vote my number is in the high 20’s almost 30. Today I was 17!

Also my station has three districts that vote and out of the whole auditorium I was the only one voting. I was there for 15 minutes speaking to someone I know who monitors the poll and not one person walked in to vote for any of the three districts.

Considering my district is heavily Democrat (we haven’t had a Republican run for Congress against the Democrat incumbent in about 10 years) to have only about half the people vote then normal at that time, tells me Democrats are not that geared to go vote because of the huge leads Spitzer and Hillary have.

Though it doesn’t mean they will loose it does mean Callaghan and Piro have a great shot at winning.

Are you going to pick those up now?

Last night going home I passed dozens of Hillary signs stapled to every lamppost.

I have to ask isn’t this illegal?

Worse I left my home this morning to pass the same sings with half of them already on the floor.

Nice to see Hillary cares about the neighborhood.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Somebody tell Ned Lamont:

The Washington Post has an aricle about how troops in Iraq are voicing concern that they will be pulled out of Iraq to early.

One solider quoted in the article stated:

“This is a worthwhile endeavor". "Nothing that is worthwhile is usually easy, and we need to give this more time for it to all come together. We all want to come home, but we have a significant investment here, and we need to give the Iraqi army and the Iraqi people a chance to succeed."

It’s to bad Democrats have seized Iraq as a way to demoralize Americans in an attempt to regain power. Americans are kidding themselves to think if we pull out of Iraq the place wont fall into the hands of Islamic extremists like Mogadishu has since Clinton ran away from there.

Midterm election issue guide:

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has put together a nice collection of backgrounds, op-eds, meeting transcripts, and interviews for a number of election issues.

CFR is rated the number one bi-partisian think tank in the world and is the only place where you will see Hillary Clinton speak on Monday and Dick Cheney on Tuesday.

Check it out.

“Liberal enclave”

Those were the words used this morning by the Financial Times to describe the district which Nancy Pelosi, the likely new Speaker of the House, comes from.

You can’t help but wonder how the Republican base is going to either not vote or vote Democrat and allow the hard left wing of the country to take over. With Pelosi we’re not talking about moderate Democrats like Bill Clinton and Joe Lieberman that this country is use to. Republicans only need to look at what the new Democrat Party has done to its moderates like Lieberman, to see what is awaiting them.

Personally I think the Republican Party has done a terrible job in reminding people just who will take over for the Democrats and failed to use the ousting of Lieberman to their advantage. Unless people start figuring it out on their own, it’s going to be an interesting next two years.

Friday, November 03, 2006

What the Democrats Don't Want You to Hear

Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR) has become one of the hot-button issues of the mid-term elections (I, personally, am ambivalent on the issue, my only concern is that low-income women may be exploited for their eggs). The Democrats have been exploiting this issue by making promises the ESCR will provide cures for a number of debilitating diseases, with little evidence to support this, and falsely making it seem that the Bush administration has banned research, rather than just limiting federal funding. Though we hear every day about the ESCR debate, and every tiny little development in ESCR research is widely reported on, we rarely hear from mainstream media about the advancements in non-embryonic stem cell research. Recently, scientists in Britain were able to produce human liver tissue using umbilical cord blood, a story that was little reported by US media.

For more on the breakthrough in England and the failure of mainstream media to report it, Wesley J. Smith has a very informative article in The Daily Standard. Also, check out his blog.

“Fiercely opposed education tax credits”

Yesterday my son came home from school with a release from the Catholic Advocacy Network reminding parents to vote on Tuesday.

The release featured information on the “Empire State Child Credit” that was introduced by Governor Pataki and included in the budget. Thanks to the legislation parents who earn up to $110,000 jointly and $75,000 individually will get $330 credit for each child. Basically it amounts to one month’s tuition, which though not great is at least a start.

The release makes note to point out the credit was a compromise with parents seeking tax relief and “the public school teachers union which fiercely opposed education tax credits”. It’s know secret the teachers union was behind the attack and it’s nice to know they don’t want parents who send their kids to private school getting any tax relief.

Finally the release lists all the legislators in the Senate and Assembly who were brave enough, in the face of the teachers union, to sponsor the legislation. The complete Catholic Voter Guide and how candidates answered their election survey can be found here

Envy of the World:

This morning the labor department announced that the U.S. added an additional 92,000 jobs in the month of October and raised the number of jobs created in August and September. Additionally the unemployment rate fell to 4.4%.

As I look across the Atlantic and see a country like Germany doing cartwheels that their unemployment rate has finally fallen below 10%, I can’t believe that people in this country are still complaining.

What the Bush administration has done with this economy in the last five years despite 9/11, the crash of the Internet market and Hurricane Katrina is amazing and is directly related to his tax cuts and other policies like enticing companies to repatriate money back to the U.S. and getting them to purchase new equipment by allowing them to accelerate its depreciation.

As we head into Tuesday’s election I wonder if Americans will continue to act like the spoiled child who ignores the overflowing toy box in the house to cry they want more or look to at our peers like France and Germany to see just how good we’re doing.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Funny she feels that way:

Over at the NY Times Empire Zone, Patrick Healy gives details about a speech given by Hillary Clinton to a group of clergy leaders in the city.

One quote I found interesting is when she tells the clergy:

“I come from the parenting school that believes most children want rules, and they want discipline,”

Though I agree with the statement I’m surprised to hear it come from someone who vehemently supported the ability for underage teenage girls to go across state lines and have a surgical procedure (abortion) without their parents knowing.

Funny how depending on the audience a politician can change their tune like a chameleon its stripes to blend in with their surroundings.

Did he say terrorist?

While traveling in France, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani pleaded that U.S. troops remain in Iraq to fight what he calls are “international terrorists” who were using Iraq as the frontline battle against the U.S.

This is what President Bush and Think Tanks know that Democrats continue to ignore for political gain. Whether they were there before or not, a frontline has been created and the outcome can affect the world for decades.

If the Ned Lamonts get their way and pull troops out of Iraq before the terrorists can be defeated we will be handing Al-Qeada the propaganda they need to recruit and move the front line westward. History has already proven this to be correct. Anyone that has paid attention to the history of Al-Qeada or even just read the 9/11 report knows that when President Clinton pulled and ran from Mogadishu, Bin Laden used it as propaganda to recruit new members and to show them that America the Satan can be defeated, nor has the stomach for a long fight.

The reality is we can follow the recommendation of Talabani and stay and finish the job so we don’t have to do it again later or we can follow the recommendation of Democrats and leave, leaving Iraq to become the new Mogadishu.

An additional story today that reported forces seized donkeys carrying high-powered explosives from Iran into Iraq, show this battle is not just a fight against terrorism but that it's also a proxy war against Iran. Leaving will only make our enemies convinced America can be defeated.

I’m going to actually enjoy seeing Spitzer as Governor:

Even though he hasn’t officially won, I’m getting that tingle that you get a few days before Christmas staring at the presents under the tree. You know what’s in the big box but you just can’t wait until you can open and enjoy it. Now Democrat’s in New York are getting that same feeling, mine is for a different reason.

I’m going to enjoy as Spitzer scrambles to find a way to pay for everything he’s promised especially as New York’s tax receipts will start to slow as the economy tops. Spitzer is going to have to either go back on his spending plans or raise taxes.

I’m going to enjoy as his “reform” pledge amounts to nothing except maybe a timely bloated budget and Silver getting the boot.

I’m going to watch upstate New York see no improvement.

The best though will be watching New York States real-estate market tumble. New Yorkers will see the value of their homes decline, making them angry with no one to blame but Eliot.

It’s going to be fun times by all.

The biggest moderate I know:

My mother-in-law and I are close. She understands and is more informed then most people I know when it comes to history and politics. We regularly have conversations and debates about politics and what I have come to learn over the years is that she is the most moderate person I know. Her voting habits don’t reflect an allegiance to a party but to the individual she thinks will do the best job.

Last night we had our “who are you voting for on Tuesday” conversation. Here is how the biggest moderate you will ever meet is voting.

Senator: Hillary Clinton. It’s hard to argue with her here. My argument against Hillary was that she’s not a New Yorker and I hate that the media treats her like we should be privileged that she’s chose us. In addition I don’t like being a stepstool for her. Mom being the moderate doesn’t care about that stuff, thinks Hillary has done well and doesn’t trust Spencer.

Comptroller: Chris Callaghan. Hevesi is a crook enough said.

Attorney General: Jeannine Pirro: Always liked Pirro and thinks she would do a great job as AG. Thinks Cuomo is overrated and is running on his name not qualifications.

Governor: Not voting as a protest: Doesn’t like Spitzer and thinks he’s going to raise taxes and throw money at everyone he gets the chance. Doesn’t like Faso mainly because he has made no effort to court the States voters and if you weren’t paying attention you wouldn’t even know he was the candidate. She feels he has no message other then he won’t raise taxes. I gave her the devils advocate pitch but she can’t vote for someone she doesn’t feel she knows.

I just thought it was interesting and if the moderates like her turn to Pirro and Callaghan, I think Republicans can win those seats.

Wal-Mart is not on the list:

In October the New York City Council and Christine Quinn completed a report on the high costs of prescription drugs in New York City.

The main finding of the report is that the prices of the same drug swings depending on the location of the pharmacy providing it. The report complains that two years after the City Council signed a law requiring pharmacy’s to list the price of their drugs consumers are not using it to price shop like they would a TV. The report makes a number of recommendations including starting a citywide public information campaign to educate citizens about the benefit of generic drugs.

I find it interesting that as the City Council is writing reports and complaining about the lack of cheap prices they still are doing their best to keep Wal-Mart out. The company has already announced it’s moving its $4 prescription drug offer to New York and if the City Council allowed them to open a number of the City Councils concerns would be covered.

The average price of drugs would come down, as the City Council would like.

A public information campaign would occur on Wal-Mart’s dime not the taxpayer, as they would advertise the benefit of generic drugs like crazy.

Other pharmacies would then also be forced to lower their drug prices and advertise them in order to compete with Wal-Mart.

As the City Council writes reports on why drug prices are high, the answer has been staring them in the face all along. Competition.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


The response coming out of the Democrat camp is that John Kerry’s comments were just a “joke”.

Well I watched the clip and at no point did I see Kerry smiling or laughing during or after he made the comment. He looked pretty damn serious to me and was obviously reading from a script.

Really? Schumer co-wrote this?

Almost fell out of my chair when I saw who co-authored this piece in The Wall Street Journal calling for less regulation in the US financial markets to keep NY competitive on the global market. Bloomberg is a businessman, so his stance is no surprise, but Schumer? It’s nice to see a Democrat openly stand-up for corporate America. They even bring up making it harder to file frivolous shareholder lawsuits. It should be interesting to see if his party turns on him like they turned on Lieberman.

I look forward to seeing Bloomberg & Schumer put their plan into action.

Should America’s Presidential election go back to its original format?

If you ask most Americans, chances are they wouldn’t know how the early Presidents and Vice-Presidents of this country were decided.

Starting with our country’s first Presidential election until the signing of the 12th Amendment, the Vice-President was the individual who received the second most electoral votes. This led to the obvious result of have the winning Party hold the Presidency and the losing Party the Vice-Presidency. This is how one of our country’s biggest political enemies in history, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson, ended up serving with each other.

As we look out over our 50/50 nation today and the divisiveness that grips us, I wonder if going back to such a format would be better for the nation. Having the other Party hold the Vice-Presidency would give comfort to the party out of power and for the nation, the devils advocate it needs.

Though I’m a Republican and believe when it comes to economic and foreign policy they have a better understanding of the realities of the world, I also believe that having a dissenting voice allows only the strongest and best policies to survive.

The early days of our nation had issues like whether to even build a military that were more decisive, heated and critical then the issues we currently are fighting over today, like stem cell research. If John Adams and Thomas Jefferson could survive during a time when the rules were still being written I’m sure today’s political Party’s could make it work as well.

Kerry should tell that to my three cousins:

Yesterday John Kerry while speaking at Pasadena City College insulted U.S. service personnel and their families when he told the students in the crowd:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

Though Democrats are trying to paint it as a slip of the tongue, it’s not even close. A slip of the tongue is when you mistakenly say one word when you mean another. John Kerry spat out a crafted sentence. You don’t slip on a whole sentence!

Comments like these are typical of a northeast elitist Liberal like Kerry. They pretend to understand and try to convince people like the NASCAR society in this country that they’re one of them but Americans no better, which is why he lost the 2004 election by 2 million votes.

I take personal exception to Kerry’s comments since I currently have three cousins in the Navy. These three guys could have gone to any college but instead decided they wanted to see the world and be part of something that is exciting and rewarding.

The oldest is coming out soon after two tours; the second just signed up for a second and the third (who are all brothers) is serving his first tour. All three will come out disciplined young men ready to contribute to our society more than any person who decided to go to some State or City college instead.

To think this guy wants to be Commander in Chief.